SaigonOLPC

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Happy Children, Happy Teachers… July 31, 2011

The HAPPY SCHOOLS Program: A Project on Positive Education in Spain

Ricardo Arguís Rey C.P.R. ‘Juan de Lanuza’, Zaragoza, Spain

The “HAPPY CLASSROOMS” Program is a pioneering and recent project in Spain, which attempts to provide teachers an educational program based on Positive Psychology. It’s designed for students in Preschool, Primary and Secondary Schools (children and youth between 3-18 years old). The two axes of the Program are: mindfulness and the education of character strengths (Peterson & Seligman, 2004). It has two fundamental objectives: enhancing the personal and social development of students, and promoting the happiness of students, teachers and families. This Program is situated within the framework of the Key Competencies of the current European educational systems. Specifically, it allows teachers to work the three more transversal Competencies: autonomy and personal initiative, social and civic competence, and competence of learning to learn. It can be developed in all areas of school curriculum, as well as in tutorial action and values education. Th is project is the result of two years of work by a team of advisors and teachers linked to the Teachers’ Center “Juan de Lanuza” in Zaragoza (Spain). Th e authors -SATI Team- have grounded the program on the most recent contributions of Positive Psychology, and off er general proposals and more than 200 activities for students. Th e Program is posted online from October 2010 and in coming months it will be published in printed version. Currently, SATI Team promotes teacher training to implement the HAPPY CLASSROOMS Program in schools in Spain. In June 2011, we will have some data that will help to evaluate its application, as a basis for designing future research on the effectiveness of the Program. At present, the Program is only available in Spanish. Its distribution is gratuitous and completely free. Th e authors allow its diffusion and reproduction, but always without commercial purposes and citing the original source. It can be downloaded at the next website: http://catedu.es/psicologiapositiva

Well-Being at Work and Across Life Domains: A Comparative Study Among Italian Professionals

Antonella Delle Fave1, Mjriam Di Bisceglie1, Andrea Fianco1, Paola Mencarelli2 from Milano, Italy

Background and aims: Meaning pursuit, resource mobilization, and the exercise of freedom and responsibility are constituents of well-being in any life domain. However, as concerns work, task and organizational differences substantially influence workers’ well-being. Th ese topics were explored through the Eudaimonic and Hedonic Happiness Investigation among 402 Italian adults (266 women and 136 men, aged 45,8 on average), including 185 teachers, 113 bank clerks, and a miscellaneous group of 104 participants involved in dif erent jobs.

Results: Teachers associated work with the highest levels of happiness and meaningfulness, compared with the other groups. On the opposite, bank clerks scored lowest in happiness and meaningfulness at work, and in life satisfaction. Teachers more oft en associated well-being with personal growth and involvement in community/society issues, while the other groups gave more emphasis to leisure and material resources. All groups quoted family as the prominent context of meaningfulness and happiness.

Conclusion: Teachers prominently associated job with wellbeing, while bank clerks perceived lack of engagement and meaning. Structural job aspects were related to these findings. Overall, group differences suggest that achieving an optimal balance in resource investment across life domains, according to their developmental and meaning potential, can represent a useful strategy in well-being promotion.

A UK Perspective on Positive Education

Ilona Boniwell from University of East London, London, United Kingdom

This presentation will address two positive education projects implemented in British schools. Results will be discussed with regard to cultural, curricular and wider school policy considerations. Th e first, Haberdasher´s Well-Being Curriculum, is a comprehensive positive psychology programme implemented in three secondary schools in South East London. From Year 7 through to Year 13 students receive one hour of positive education weekly. The presentation will report on the outcomes of the pilot year of programme implementation with Year 7 students (focusing on positive experience and relationships). The study was a non-randomised control group design with a pre-test and post-test, using Multidimensional Life Satisfaction Scale for Children, Positive and Negative Aff ect Schedule for Children and Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale. Using 2x2Anova, significant effects were found for satisfaction with self, satisfaction with family, satisfaction with school, satisfaction with friends, positive and negative affect.The SPARK Resilience Programme was developed to improve adolescents´ psychological well-being by building resilience over 12 one-hour weekly lessons. It was delivered to Year 7 pupils in two different schools in the Borough of Newham, East London and assessed using pre- and post test design. Th e statistical data analysis showed significantly higher resilience scores in the post assessment compared to the pre-assessment data. A significant increase was also found for self-esteem and self-efficacy scores. A marginally significant decrease was observed in depression symptoms.

The control data was provided by the school’s annual student survey of Year 7 students completed one year previous to the current post-assessment. The control group indicated lower positive aff ect than the treatment group in the pre and post assessment. Th e control group’s life satisfaction scores (SLSS) resulted lower than the treatment group in the post assessment.

Advertisements
 

Children’s Resilience Programs July 30, 2011

The Second World Congress on Positive Psychology took place in Philadelphia last weekend. I didn’t attend it, but I learned  about some interesting educational projects around the world from the Final Program:

Children’s Resilience Program in India

Steve Leventhal from University of California, Global Health Sciences, San Francisco, CA, United States:

We present findings from CorStone’s ‘Children‘s Resiliency Program (CRP)’ in New Delhi, Mumbai and Surat, India.

CRP is a 24-week, school-based prevention program that incorporates elements of positive psychology, restorative practices, and social-emotional learning skills for at-risk adolescent youth in developing countries. The CRP seeks to provide youth with knowledge and tools that build character strengths, inter-personal skills, problem-solving and conflict resolution. In 2009 the CRP was piloted with 97 female students, ages 12-18 at a school in a poverty-stricken Muslim community in New Delhi. Teachers were trained to facilitate weekly one-hour support groups (10 students per group). Group sessions included an interactive 20 minute lesson plan followed by 40 minutes of group sharing and problem-solving. Emotional resilience was assessed by levels of optimism, locus of control, and emotional and behavioral difficulties.

Standardized assessments administered at baseline, midpoint and post intervention, showed large emotional and behavioral effects. ‘Normal’ scores on the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) increased from 33% at baseline to 61% at mid-intervention (12 weeks), whereas the percentage of students having an abnormal score decreased from 45% to 6%. Significant decreases in pessimism and external locus of control were found in post-intervention scores. Attendance increased markedly on days when the program was offered. 99% of students reported that the topics were relevant to their lives and that the program provided valuable learning experiences.

An intervention for 1,000 adolescent girl students in slum communities in Mumbai and Gujarat is currently underway, using a quasi-experimental design with 500 girls receiving the intervention and 500 girls serving as a control group.

School Based Relationship Programs: A Foundation for Building Resilience

Jonathan Toussaint, Karen Morris from Interrelate Family Centres, Sydney, Australia

The Australian Government’s initiative and focus on Respectful Relationships has informed the development of Kids Connexions, a program for children encouraging them to build healthy relationships. Th e program covers the importance of: maintaining a sense of self; respecting differences in others; normalizing respectful ways of relating to others; empowering children to make healthy choices about relationships; and highlighting effective ways to connect with peers.

Kids Connexions has been evaluated with outstanding results. The philosophy of Interrelate is to build resilience in the life of a child. With over 84 years experience in cutting edge school based program development and delivery, Interrelate continues to inform children as they first begin to establish conscious relationships in primary school. This interactive workshop provides participants with an overview of the program, useful tools to engage with children, and techniques to encourage active participation in the classroom. Strategies to promote and increase the involvement of schools will also be addressed.

Children’s Character Strengths and the Transition from Kindergarten to First Grade

Anat Shoshani from Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Psychology, Herzliya, Israel

The transition from kindergarten to first grade is one of the major challenges children face during early childhood, and children´s character strengths can be crucial for effectively adjusting to this transition. In this talk, I will present findings from a pioneering study attempting to integrate the body of knowledge accumulated in the strengths and virtues field with the school adjustment literature. Specifically, parents of 108 first-grade Israeli children rated their child’s character strengths using a Hebrew version of the 24-items Values in Action (VIA) scale and reported on their child´s cognitive, emotional, behavioral and social engagement in school.

Findings provided extensive support to the hypothesis that children´s character strengths positively contribute to school adjustment. Curiosity and self regulation were the most important predictors of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral adjustment to school. Implications for early childhood practices and strengths-based skills relevant to school adjustment will be discussed.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: